Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the holidays...

so everyone keeps saying, "so hard this happened so close to the holidays"

at first i wanted to punch them.
well... i still do. 
but... im finding my silver lining. 
if my dad had died in January... i would have had to grieve, and then a year later, do his first holidays. 
that would have been worse... at least that is what i am going to believe because that is my reality. 
and i have to find some sort of silver lining here. 

today jack saw a commercial for the thanksgiving day parade. he was so excited.
i started to cry.
for my entire life. EVERY year... my dad calls me at the end of the parade to declare that santa is coming. he would scream "are you watching it? here he comes!!!" 
and he would be all jolly & cheerful & ... tearful! 
he lived for christmas.
my dad always played santa claus every year for church and friends houses. 
he was the greatest santa!

this year i will watch the parade and likely sob my eyes out as santa comes. 
the phone won't ring... and i will be sad. 

my kids are the bittersweet part here.
they make me keep going.
i have no choice.
but they also make me remember my dad... which is great.
jack appeared at my feet today like this...

{terrible photo taken with my phone}
see his pen? my dad always had a pen on his shirt.
he would say, "a good salesman always has a pen"
jack always tried to swipe his pen. 

these are things that jack helps me remember. i would never have thought of that.
so i love to hear his memories of  his Pop Pop. 
i feel horribly sad that sammy will not know my dad. 
it makes my heart ache.
because my dad adored sam. 
and still... sam walks around and says "poppa" when he see's his picture.
but soon that will fade and sooner than i'd like... he will forget him. 

so... on a positive note.
tomorrow im going to eat! 
i will be a member of the clean plate club.
i will watch the parade.
i will make the best of thanksgiving. 
i will be grateful my family is together. 
i will somehow find it in me... to make the best of our first holiday without dad. 

enjoy your loved ones.
hug them... because you can!

Monday, November 22, 2010

finding a new normal

it has been a long time.
life got busy.
then life got bad.
it took me a while to get here to write... 18 days to be exact.
which for me... is a long time to not "talk".
i am an open book.
i like to be surrounded by love & support... what you see is what you get.
but this is hard... because writing it... well it makes it more real than this nightmare already is.

my dad died.
i still can't believe it is true. i wait for someone to pinch me and tell me that phone call at 11:13 pm over 2 weeks ago now... it was just a horrible nightmare i can't escape.

i dream of trips in the rum rum {the '67 austin healy with plates reading 'fun toy'}, trips to kuhns corner for hot dogs and later duchess when kuhn's corner closed, visiting nanny & stopping for carvel, golfing at patterson, his wildly inappropriate jokes that made us cringe and laugh at the same time, his lack of filter, or his annoying & cheesey jokes, email forwards, his insane obsession with Fairfield Univ basketball... going to games with him as a child and wanting to hide because he was SO embarrassing as he screamed at the refs "NEED MY GLASSES!!! THAT'S A WALK JACKASS!", the pride he oozed as I received my college degree and masters degree, the clean plate club, my very own santa, the things he got away with, his wealth of knowledge of diners, how he loved to go places where people knew him, or how every where we went, someone did know him, how all my friends always thought he was hilarious- even when i didn't, how he loved each of us {I am the youngest of 5} unconditionally... and defended each of our flaws & quirks, he always called me his "caboose", how he loved my husband. how he played with my kids. it was special- "my cane" tug of wars with jack, reading books to sam, how he tried to get sammy to talk more- he "heard" him say a lot of things... it made me laugh. no dad, sam can hardly utter "momma"... he did not just say "i love you"...  and how jack some how managed to get him to play hide & seek once... or the times jack demanded he color and do crafts with him. he did it!  i would kill for just one more of those hugs that, as my sister described perfectly, made you feel safe from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes, or one more "knee squeeze" in the front seat, or one more pinch and declaration of "this is MY side", or to simply hear his voice... his deep distinct commanding voice that filled the room. it made people listen to him. even if they didn't want to! i would kill for him to come to my house and just annoy me again... because that is what he did. what i wouldn't give for that... just once more.

i have been surrounded by love and support.
it is overwhelming.
i have learned a lot about people around me.
a lot surprising.
a lot good and some bad.
some disappointing.
some overwhelmingly amazing.
some friends became closer friends that i will forever cherish after this past couple of weeks.
i have grown up more than i wanted to ever.
i feel broken... like a piece of my soul is forever gone.
but it is part of life... sadly.

i woke up last night, just an hour after i fell asleep, without even opening my eyes just quietly sobbing.
i miss my dad.

i was named after my dad. i used to hate that.
now... i cling to that.
i also look like my dad.
and i hope to be a lot like him in many ways.
the priest said to us "think of the things you loved about him. think of all he did. and try to emulate them in your life. this is how you will carry him on".
i will continue to volunteer... my dad taught me that. and i will do that in his honor.
i will sing my heart out at church and when they play the national anthem.
i will cheer for Big Blue!
i will quote cheesy jokes of his. maybe ;)
and many many other things.

i feel so grateful to the people in my life that have surrounded me to get through this horrendous time.
the tribute we gave to my dad was over the top!
just like he wanted.
but more importantly, exactly what he deserved!

i know he is here with me. my very own special angel.

i have a lot more to say about my dad. 
but for now i work towards finding my new normal. 
figuring out what life is like... without my dad. 
hoping each day gets easier.
hoping the tears jump up and bite me at less brutal times. 
hoping my brain functioning returns some time soon {did you know that a traumatic experience like this causes your brain to stop functioning the way it used to... true!}
i will continue to carry my dad in my heart... i will talk of him with ease so my children never forget him. 
and ever single day of my life... i will miss him deeply.


Monday, November 1, 2010

missing in action

yikes... where has the time gone! 
i have been neglectful of my blog... and i do miss it lots!

but i am enjoying my new ventures a great deal too! 
it has been so amazing to use other parts of my brain. i will say i am exhausted. no. EXHAUSTED. i can't seem to get my body used to all this running around. i have been battling jack's chronic, 3 year long mystery coughing with my husband traveling for, what seems like, eternity!

i literally just sat down for the first time today. 
we had a really nice day... just busy constantly. 
if i wasn't cooking or playing with the boys, i was cleaning or feeding the boys, or playing catch up with all the piles of laundry. 

im not sure i will ever get back to my blog the way i had. sad but true! 
but i miss it... it was a sense of a journal. 
right now... i have on hold a list of other things i should be doing. 
including eating dessert... while i spend a little time here!

in the meantime... a little of what has been keeping us busy!

this is trouble. this little boy, at the end of a horrifically long day which was preceded by a terribly long few weeks... got in the tub while i was getting it ready and had turned my back for a split second. 
with ALL of his clothing on. 
he likes to torture me i believe!

we have been decorating! best $1.99 ever spent!

a very over exposed self portrait of me and my little man who is getting so big with each day!

we carved pumpkins, the night before halloween. it was sort of, i must confess, an obligation. we never pumpkin picked the traditaional way this year. no far. no hayride. no cute photo ops. it was too much with jack's mystery cough. so we skipped it. and got them at the store. we saved BUNDLES! and our pumpkins came out pretty cute!

they love each other lots! sometimes TOO much!

we planted some bulbs... lined the walk with tulips! hope we did ok!

my boys all dressed up for a communion! a rare siting! jack would live in sweats if i would let him!

nothing better than munchkin sandy hands. this was the day the mother at the playground responded to my "she can have one" as her daughter cried because she wanted a munchkin with "i don't let my kids have things like that". 
really?!?!?!? who says things like that! even if you don't want your kid eating that crap. everything in moderation. no need to be a judgmental bitch now!

my kids do not hold my hand. ever. or rarely. sam does sometimes & my heart skips a beat when his little hand slips in to mine. literally, i melt & ooze! 

meet the newsest man in my life! my best friend had a baby! 
im in love with him!
it is SO much more fun to swoon over other peoples babies and then hand them right back and go home and get a good night sleep. i don't do well with the whole baby stage when they are my own. my hormones take over and im 2 steps away from a psych unit. 
so i like to "re-do" with my friends babes! 
i like to be there for them when they go sleep deprived hormone crazy 
{which by the way, she is not doing. which is amazing & annoying all at the same time}

little man loves to slide down the slide on his belly. i lvoe watching him get up on the slide and swing his little leg over! its adorable... he is so determined!

a group shot of our halloween extravaganza! 
i call it "organized chaos"!
the biggest puppy & woody have been trick or treating for 5 years now together. 
they are big! 

woody! when he saw this picture he said: "oh my gosh i look sooo awsome!" 

happy fall!